The Bright Ideas
Before we formulate any ideas or plans, we take a snapshot of your business.
First by surveying your "Books", your market demographics, your market share, branding, your digital market, your staff, customer service, and your competitors.
Next, we delve into sales, sale trends, turns, inventory, peak time, avg transaction, sales turnovers, assortment, and what has often overlooked the obsolescences.
We offer Bookkeeping, Inventory and Sourcing management and training,
Lastly, we look back, the progression to this point in time, where you started, and then why.
Quickbooks Certified Pro-Advisors
all the data
then its time to talk
While all business is different, like paint on a canvas, the medium might be the same BUT creations are not and that is the point, all business should be unique. That is why your customers come to you and not your competitor. There is also no standard answer to be given; all of our ideas are tailored to your business and are created around the needs that your business displays to us, tells us in the data.
Some businesses have needed a small change, a re-freshening. Business needs fresh eyes to look at its operation and see what the business is trying to say what it's needs are. And some business has the need to be completely overhauled to put them back on track.
To the left and below are examples of clients worked with and the ideas we came up with.
We were asked to review a local tourist attraction concession business and to develop an action plan; it's top-line revenue and percap had been on a decline even though their attendance had been increasing year to year. Our first thought was that it is common for percap to decrease as attendance increases but top-line sales usually do not follow the same downturn.
We looked at our top five indicators and found some interesting answers the business was telling us.
The assortment was too big and many of the top-selling items took to much time to service. There is a 15-minute window for most visitors to purchase an item before they need to move on to their next location. Also, the average transaction per customer was 2+ minutes.
Our Idea was to decrease the assortment to 40 items from 350, with an additional 10 seasonal items that changed based on the time of year. Change the pricing to be the same for like items; all beverages to be $2.95 and so on. Remove all items that took more than 15 seconds to services even if they were top sellers. Add additional product boards/menus in the queuing area. Add an additional employee to each of the service counters at normal times and 2 during peak. And all the items that were kept in the assortment had to reinforce the experience and to be made exclusively for the client (this helped on the bounce back, the client got to see the visitor three times during the visit).
With uniform pricing, additional employees, the additional product/menu boards decreased the transaction time to 52 seconds, lowering the average transaction time to about 50 seconds.
Within 3 months the top-line sales were beating last year and the net sales increased by 15%. Percaps had a very slight increase during peak times but an 11% increase during normal times.
A small local chain hardware store wanted an Image update. Their sales have been strong but flat over the last 8 years even with the addition of the big-box chains in their market in the last 3 years, there was no sales loss but no sales increase either.
The first thing we looked at was the details of their sales for the last 15 years and drilled down by department and by each store. What was interesting is that their last sales increase year was over 10 years ago and it was due to a weather issue. The really surprising fact is that their core business has been declining by an avg of 7% each year and what was keep the total sales roll-up from declining was the introduction of new departments, such as work and hunting gear and vintage foods. The adding of these departments did not even get premium spaces or even grouped together, they were stuck in the empty spaces throughout the stores and they were driving sales.
After a complete analysis of each department by location, we developed a reorganization of each store, no cookie-cutter approach. Each store had its own fingerprint: each of the top sales were very unique to each region and store.
First, we created an assortment plan based on sales; there were very little markdowns due to we re-assorted the on-hand inventories within the chain. (Before every store got the same inventory regardless of history and sell-through. )
Next, we revamped the branding and created a "look" for each department with signage and fixtures. Then classified each of the stores to make future assortment plans easier. Not all stores had every department, A stores had everything, B stores where more lifestyle and, C stores were hardware more like their original assortments. We then introduced 4 new departments; DYI, Farm, Active Apparel, and what we called AARP for active seniors. After the plan-o-grams were done, we started revamping/reassorting the stores overnight, which took about 4 nights for each store.
Soon after the revamping started we saw a bump in sales but long term, after 4 weeks we saw an avg. 30% increase in sales based on the month before the revamp and last year's sales. 3 months into the revamp the sales level to 14% increase over last year and the projection is that the year will end 17% over last year.
Farm department was dropped and the merchandise was just blended into the garden department. The Active Apparel department, which is the hunting, work, classic apparel, and gear was the biggest hit. We did instruct the client not to expanded this department yet until there are last least 6 months to a year under their belt.
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